Tag Archives: spec

Baltic Twin Crown is a Win-Win

Baltic’s Aquascaphe twin crown is on pre-order right now and it’s a wel equipped tool watch that’s built to dive. With a serious 200m depth rating, sapphire crystal, 316 steel compressor case and dive time crown at the 2pm position, this model will do the job. The top crown moves the internal bezel, so you can set the minutes underwater accurately.

The second crown at 4 o’clock is used to wind the automatic movement and to set the time. The first 300 pieces are numbered on the caseback This watch is also slim, at just under 12mm in height from crystal to caseback. That might suit many watch fans who find the big chunky cases on say a Zelos, or some bronze indie watches just too much on dry land. 

You can also buy it with a black dial and black bezel, plus there’s a PVD coated case option.

The pre-order price is £660, which is reasonable for something this well finished and manufactured in Europe, rather than China or Singapore. There will be import duties and perhaps some BS delivery company admin fees on top don’t forget.

Rivals include much of the Zelos range, plus dive brands like Enosken (1000m depth) or Marloe, who are based in the UK.  There’s a great deal of choice when it comes to dive watches under £1000 these days, although twin crown models are not as common as single crown watches in general.

More at Baltic’s website here. 

 

 

Citizen Launch Sustainable Ambiluna Watch

Climate change is all the rage and so watch manufacturers must now tick sustainability boxes or face action by globalist governments, keen to tell consumers what to buy, and brands what to produce. That’s just how it is. Nobody gets to vote on it, OK? So please welcome some  striking new ladies watches from Citizen, which consume less raw material to produce. More details below.

With its sustainably produced line of women’s watches, Citizen L has championed the effort to manufacture sustainable watches that prioritize the preservation of our global environment and societies of people worldwide. The first in the Citizen brand lines to adopt synthetically lab-grown diamonds, Citizen L uses these to express the natural beauty of Earth elements for the Ambiluna collection. This collection of women’s watches features a new model inspired by “water” and two other models influenced by mineral elements.

Inspired by “water” — one of four natural elements that make up all things — the new model philosophically completes the connection of the Earth to our future. The current models intro-duced in 2020 were inspired by the three elements: “Earth, Fire and Air.” The watches feature straps made from recycled plastics, gathered from beaches, so we get to clean up a little part of the earth every time we shop online. It’s all good. We love the deep blue one by the way, it has a great simplicity of design.

As you might expect the new models use the Eco-Drive system, which gives a ten year battery lifespan, rather than the typical 2-3 year span from a normal watch battery. Oh you thought that a Citizen Eco-Drive could defeat physics and just keep recharging its battery cell using light forever? Er..no, physics doesn’t work like that. The capacity to hold charge diminishes over time – nobody can stop that process, not even Elon Musk. That’s why battery smartphones, bicycles, cars, watches or anything else eventually dies – it cannot charge itself anymore.

Further, two limited-edition models influenced by “minerals” will be included in the Ambiluna collection. Drawing on the organic transformations of mineral elements over Earth’s long geo-logical evolution, these new models incorporate many stunningly unique colours and patterns.

The UK price and release date are to be determined, says Citizen.

Sinn ST144 Anniversary is An Old School Chrono

Sinn have a new collection for spring 2021, with the ST 144 being a revival of a traditional design. This model has an old fashioned motorsport feel to it and looks the business, very stopwatch efficient with its red second hand. Inside there is a Concepto 25 jewel movement, which is an independent Swiss manufactured piece, which as far as we can tell does all the stuff you want a chronograph to do.

Here’s some background on Swiss movement supply for you watch fans; The Swiss movement industry is subject to EU political pressure, as for decades ETA had a near-monopoly on supply to indie watch brands and then an agreement was reached a few years ago that some brands would manufacture in-house, and others would obtain their movements from alternative makers like Sellita, Soprod, Eterna or Felsa. One thing the EU hates is an efficient manufactuer on its doorstep making luxury goods and exporting them into the eurozone without ticking lots of ideological boxes on free trade, diversity or climate agenda stuff. So that is why Sinn – and other brands – cannot keep on fitting a Valjoux 7750 inside every chronograph they produce. There has to be a diversity of movement supply, or at least the appearance of it. Even though it would be more efficient in terms of resource and energy consumption to have say two movement suppliers making all mechanical movements in Switzerland.

Anyway, Concepto are Swiss based, modern factory and aiming high in terms of quality, so you’re buying a genuine Swiss quality timepiece for 3250 euros – which is reassuring.

Here’s the word from Sinn;

Launched in 1974, model 144 is one of the most traditional watches in our range.

To mark our company’s 60th anniversary, we are now introducing a special limited edition of 600 timepieces in the form of the 144 St S Anniversary II. This model clearly demonstrates the timelessness of our instrumental, technical watches. The 144 St S Anniversary II is also a fine example of how we are constantly developing our classic timepieces. For example, the old 144 featured a black chrome-plated case with mineral glass and was only pressure-resistant up to 5 bar.

The 144 St S Anniversary II takes things to the next level in many respects. For instance, this timepiece is equipped with a wide range of technical features, is resistant to low pressure, waterproof and can withstand pressures of up to 20 bar. Ar-Dehumidifying Technology ensures greater functional reliability and freedom from fogging. The bead-blasted surface of the stainless-steel case has also been hardened using Tegiment Technology, making it especially scratch-resistant. This type of technology forms the basis for the high-quality Black Hard Coating. Typical of a 144, our anniversary edition also features a combined tachymeter and pulsometer scale.

The prominent positioning and intuitive readability of the white counters for the stopwatch minutes and seconds give this anniversary edition a modern look, without forsaking its traditional feel. As a reminiscence of the company’s anniversary, the number 60 of the pulsometer scale has been applied in orange-red daylight luminous paint. It has a 41mm case diameter and there is a nine week delivery time on this new model.

Our limited edition 144 St S Anniversary II with unique numbering comes in a fine case with a black solid bracelet and a black silicone strap.

SHIPPING APARTHEID

By the way there is a 120 euros shipping cost to non-EU countries, which is pretty spiteful for residents of the UK and NI, but entirely to be expected after the bitterness of Brexit. Bitterness by the EU naturally. The cost for German delivery is zero euro, but someone in Denmark has to pay 50 euros. Astonishing. How are they getting away with it?

New Watches: Omega Seamaster 300 Bronze

The latest variant on the Omega Seamaster is the 300 Bronze, which combines classic styling with the gradual patina of bronze alloy and the weathered look that emerges over time. Here’s the press info;

Omega first introduced the Seamaster 300 in 1957 – designed especially for divers and professionals who worked underwater. More than 60 years later, the collection has been completely upgraded, and includes this special model created in Omega’s own bronze alloy.

The 41 mm case and bezel are crafted from 9K Bronze Gold, while the brown ceramic bezel ring includes a diving scale in vintage Super-LumiNova. On the bronze dial, you’ll find recessed hour markers and open numerals with Super-LumiNova, as well as PVD Bronze Gold coloured hands. Presented on a brown leather strap with a 9K Bronze Gold buckle, this timepiece includes a transparent sapphire crystal caseback, enabling a clear view of the Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 8912.

Just stunning jewelling on this movement, has to be said.

TECH SPEC:

MOVEMENT
Calibre: Omega 8912
Self-winding movement with Co-Axial escapement.
Certified Master Chronometer, approved by METAS,
resistant to magnetic fields reaching 15,000 gauss. Freesprung balance with silicon balance spring, two barrels
mounted in series, automatic winding in both directions.
Time zone function. Special luxury finish with Geneva
waves in arabesque.
Power reserve: 60 hours
CRYSTAL
Domed, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with antireflective treatment inside.

PRICE; £9,920

More at the Omega site here. 

TAG Carrera Tourbillon, With That Titanium Edge

TAG Heuer’s Carrera is an ever popular model and who wouldn’t like a deep blue tourbillon version? The limited edition is just 250 pieces and the watch also features a titanium bracelet. Inside it is a COSC rated, TAG in-house movement, and on the reverse there is a see-thru caseback with a stunning skeleton rotor on the automatic movement to catch the eye. Beautiful pushers too, we love the details on this beefy 45mm watch, which if you have a larger wrist is arguably the perfect case diameter.

For the first time, the Carrera Heuer 02T has a full dial with a blue sunray design creating the most beautiful effect, says TAG. Even the ceramic tachymetric bezel is finished in this cerulean blue with hypnotising reflections. The oscillating mass has been given a PVD coating so as not to be out of place in this azure composition.

Fitted with a 45 mm grade 5 titanium case, this chronograph has another surprise in store. Previously sporting alligator straps sewn on black rubber, or even just soft rubber, it dares to make the switch to this new model with a grade 2 titanium bracelet. That is a first! In addition to its lightness, this
material gives this Carrera Heuer 02T timepiece a sporty yet elegant look. This exceptional watch is priced at 20,500 Swiss francs. (approx £17,400)

More info here at the TAG website.

Hamilton Intra-Matic Mechanical Chrono

Old school hand-winding? Hamilton can help you out there buddy, with their new Intra-Matic chronograph, which features no automatic rotor. The new H series edition retails at just under CHF2000, which is about £1500, making this an expensive retro styled watch. Not as expensive as the automatic version though, so that’s a bonus. You get much the same American Classic styling; we love the vintage pushers and the big winding crown, and the dial choices of black or white really offer a homage to the 60s/70s.

But there are plenty of other Valjoux 7750 or ETA powered retro chrono models out there below a grand. Fact is, the Hamilton name does not add a great deal in terms of resale value – just wander into any UK pawnbroker with a Khaki and see what you get offered for it. Shocking. So you could buy this watch and lose half the retail value the moment you walk out of the door – the same cannot be said about a Rolex Oyster, Breitling Superocean or Tudor Black Bay in all fairness. But they all cost serious cash…

This latest Hamilton has an impressive 60 hour power reserve, a nice Milanese bracelet option rather than a leather strap and it’s Swiss made, which counts for something in terms of prestige. But the H31 movement inside is based on the Valjoux 7753, which is an old design. Nothing wrong with that of course, but for two grand maybe a pre-owned Tudor, Omega or Breitling is a better bet in the long run when it comes to retained value? Just saying.

 

Seiko’s 140th Anniversary Models: Lean & Green

Seiko are celebrating 140 years of watchmaking and the green Prospex models really do offer a bold statement on the wrist for those who admire this Japanese brand. Built to high standards, Seiko’s Prospex is a genuine rival to Swiss watches, in all but brand snobbery. You won’t get the same resale value, but you will get a watch that will last a lifetime. Here’s the word from Seiko;

These two mechanical watches in this Iriomote-inspired series are based on Seiko’s celebrated 1968 diver. One is a 300 meter water resistant, eight beat diver’s watch with a unique onepiece case structure. Suitable for saturation as well as air diving, it is made, assembled and adjusted by the skilled craftsmen and women of Shizukuishi and powered by Caliber 8L35. This was created especially for dive watches. The second mechanical watch is a contemporary reinvention of the 1968 original. It houses a six beat caliber and is 200 metres water resistant.

Solar model is a bit of a bargain compared to Swiss quartz/solar cell watches, but still pricey at £700. Some great pre-owned Seiko autos at that price.

Both are offered as limited editions, of 3,000 and 6,000 respectively. The third watch in the series is a 200m solar chronograph. It, too, is a limited edition of 4,000. All three are presented on stainless steel bracelets but you can buy an extra silicone strap. All three watches will be available in March at Seiko Boutiques and selected Seiko retailers worldwide.

The Prospex 1968 homage retails at 1400 euros, and the heavy duty SLA347 is priced at 3,300 euros. But you get 300m depth resistance and the chunky 44mm case for the extra cash.

Verdict: The `68 homage is the limited edition to go for, great value compared to its big brother. If you have £3000 to invest buy a Tudor Black Bay instead, it will hold its value far better in our humble opinion.

King Seiko KSK Revival Is an Expensive Homage

Recreating the past is always a double-edged sword in watchmaking. You can get it right, like Zenith with their sharp dressed, perfectly balanced A384 homage to the original El Primero model. Or you can get it very wrong, like Breitling did when they committed the sin of making an AVI 765 revival in rose gold. You don’t make military watches with rose gold cases matey, end of. Breitling also made the chrono pushers on the revival 765 stick out like coat pegs, rather than fit a bit more flush to the case, as on the original 50s model.

It’s all personal opinion of course, but these things matter because why else are you buying a new, recreation watch rather than an original, antique collectors item? That’s right, you want modern tech housed in a vintage case and dial, like an AC Cobra replica. You also want something that will be genuinely collectable in the future too, surely?

So Seiko are being brave making a King model to celebrate 140 years of business. The 1965 watch was a classic of the 60s era, and has that neat, functional three hand look that the Swiss mastered so well in the 1950s. But is reviving the sleek, Madmen style, with new technology in movement design and assembly, enough to justify a steep price tag?

Here’s the word from Seiko;

The new re-creation brings the 1965 KSK back to life in every detail. The combination of the flat dial with the faceted indexes and broad, sharp hands re-creates the refined elegance of the original. The sharp, bold faceted lugs feature large flat planes and razor sharp angles and are Zaratsu polished to a distortion-free mirror finish. Just as on the first KSK, the index at twelve o’clock has a bright sparkle thanks to the way it is intricately faceted. The case back carries the King Seiko name and the same shield design as the original and the buckle, too, is an accurate reproduction. The Seiko name and a “W” mark that signifies the KSK’s water-resistance appear on the crown.

Numbered caseback is a nice touch

Powered by Seiko’s slimline automatic caliber, 6L35

While the re-creation is faithful in every aspect to the original design, it is completely up-todate in technology, function and form. Even with an automatic movement and the addition of a date window, the new watch retains its slim profile and is just 0.5mm thicker than the original, thanks to the thinness of Caliber 6L35. The case is slightly wider than the original at 38.1mm and the crystal is a boxed-shaped sapphire with an anti-reflective coating in the inner surface that delivers high legibility from any angle. The case’s durability is also enhanced by the super-hard coating which protects the watch from scratches.

The King Seiko KSK re-creation will be available from January 2021 as a limited edition of 3,000 at Seiko boutiques and at selected retail partners worldwide.

Verdict: Beautiful work, but at £3000 it’s too expensive for a Seiko, unless it says Grand on the dial, not King. Like many Seiko watches it has an understated look, a simple elegance that you can admire and as a timekeeper it will be streets ahead of an original King, Hi-Beat or Diashock that you might find at a vintage watch dealer’s website. The 6L35 movement is a great movement, I have one myself in the shape of a £300 Presage. Therein lies a problem – why pay three grand for the same engine in a different case?

 

Zelos Blacktip Skin Diver

Here is the word from Zelos on their Blacktip model, which is available to buy next week.
A modern take on the classic ‘Skin Diver’ style, the new Zelos Blacktip offers elegant aesthetics and reliable performance in a small but mighty package. The slim 11.5mm case makes it a compact and highly versatile timepiece which can nevertheless survive 200m beneath the waves.
Quick Specifications:
Case : 41mm Diameter, 20mm Lug width, 47.5mm Lug to Lug Length, 11.5mm thickness without crystal
Water Resistance : 200m
Crystal : Sapphire
Bezel Insert : Ceramic/Sapphire depending on model
Movement : Miyota 9015 28800bph
Dial :Textured with dual C3/BGW9 indices
Crown : Signed crown with lume
Bracelet Included : 316L SS with quick adjust clasp and quick release springbars
The Blacktip launches on December 15th and will be available at a special launch price. Limited quantities are available and will not be restocked.

Heinrich Taucher Dive is Remarkable Value, Great Spec

We love Kickstarter watch projects here at The NWCo magazine, especially when they are as superbly engineered as this new Heinrich Taucher 200m model.

Featuring Superlume markers, sapphire crystal, stainless steel case, SW200 movement and a range of stunning fume dial colours too. It is a beautifully detailed project from the German based brand and made its Kickstarter target in under 2 hours. Best news of all? Prices start at £472 on the early bird deal – with delivery expected in May 2021. Each watch is likely to be numbered too. A stunning debut from Heinrich we think, that ticks all the right boxes as regards diving function, plus captures the 70s spirit effortlessly.

Compare that Heinrich Taucher price to something like an Oris 100m dive watch which retails for over £1500 and you realise that are paying for the name, not the actual dive ability of the wristwatch. Nothing wrong with an Oris Sixty-Five of course and you have the back-up of an authorised dealer, plus Oris factory guarantee, but at this price point you don’t find many Swiss movement, automatic dive watches. Plenty of Seiko NH35 or Miyota powered models maybe, but not many Swiss dive models under 500 quid.

We love the bracelet too, which is almost beads of rice style.

Here’s some info from Heinrich;

The HEINRICH Taucher with 41mm diameter is designed to suit most of the wrists. The watch comes in an angular designed case to bring back 70s charm.  The big crown  emphasizes the toolwatch character and makes the watch easy to operate.  Built with a double domed sapphire crystal the design emphasizes vintage vibes.  The unidirectional 120-clicks sapphire bezel supports you to precisely calculate your dive time.  All indices, watch hands and bezel are applied with Swiss Super-LumiNova® BGW9 to safeguard readibility in the dark. The Taucher is powered by a Swiss Made Automatic movement from Sellita – the SW 200-1.

The founder, Wolfgang Heinrich, was born in the seventies and grown up in the eighties. Being a “Gen Xer” he looked back more often to the “good old times”. Not only movies, cars & music from the seventies and eighties, he is also passionate about watches and it’s design from this era. That’s how the idea was born to design & create unique and high-quality timepieces with vintage vibes. Being a recreational scuba diver and fascinated by the diver watches from the past the first model needed to be a dive watch.

That winding crown is almost a cafe racer footrest – functional and it has a coat of arms on the edge too. Very retro Oktoberfest.

Living in Stuttgart (southwest Germany)  and close to the historical watchmaking city of Pforzheim he works closely with traditional watchmakers with decades of experience in the local watch industry. More info here.